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Published: October 20th 2019
With Typhoon Faxai hitting Tokyo just prior to our return from Matsuyamo we were lucky that by the time we said our goodbyes to Sappi, Masako and Kento - after enjoying breakfast together at a café along the way - the trains were back on track. We said our thanks and farewells to Takaya before he headed off to work. Sincere thanks once again to Sappi, Takaya and Masako for the wonderful hospitality we were shown and for the great fun we had together.
It was around 6pm by the time we arrived at Shinagowa station where we were met by Ross on what was a very steamy hot evening. From there we headed off to one of the many restaurants which are part of Shinagowa Station where Natsumi and Atsushi met us. Lots more to eat and much catching up with Atsushi's news since we hadnt seen him in a while.
The following day - Tuesday 10 September - we had expected to be at Narita airport for the flight back to Sydney but the typhoon meant that all the flights were cancelled. Luckily we read the email from Jetstar telling us that the
flight had been cancelled; presumably many didn't as apparently there were about 17,000 people who turned up at the airport expecting to be on a flight home! For us, since Jetstar couldn't get us home until Monday morning, and with both of us having arrangements from the Saturday onwards, we eventually managed to book a domestic flight from Narita to Osaka with Jetstar and then an international flight with Qantas from Osaka to Sydney. We're now waiting to see if our travel insurance will reimburse us but we aren't holding our breath!! (As a PS to this, thankfully the travel insurance company did indeed reimburse us; what a bonus!)
In the meantime this meant that we had an extra day with Ross and Natsumi so that was an added bonus. While Ross was at work Natsumi wanted to go to a local shrine so Kev and I went with here and followed all the protocol which are expected on such visits. It was a tiny little temple inbetween lots of other buildings but it proved to be a quiet space for a bit of contemplation.
Kev had booked us a hotel which was 26
kms from Narita airport so, once again, Ross hired a car to drive us there which proved to be a longer journey than expected but we finally made it. Then, before they drove back to Nakano, Ross and Natsumi joined Kev and I at a local restaurant where we all ate an elegant sufficiency followed by our final farewells. Now, with Ross and Natsumi coming back to Sydney to attend a friend's wedding in February next year that means we only have five months before we see them again in the flesh!
Thanks Ross and Natsumi for looking after us so well. It was such a pleasure to spend time with you both. We can't wait to hear when you're finally settled into your new home.
Leaving the hotel the next day entailed a taxi ride to the airport and then a very long wait until our plane from Narita to Osako - which was delayed for almost two hours - finally got us on the start of the journey home. As always it was a great pleasure to get back to our beautiful city of Sydney!!
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